128 South Africans in intensive care units, 842 in hospitals, 11,000 active infections and 429 deaths, President Ramaphosa updates nation on COVID-19

About 128 South Africans who contracted COVID-19 are in intensive care units, 842 in hospitals, and 429 have died, President Cyril Ramaphosa updated the nation during a major broadcast on Sunday.

The South African leader also announced that of the 22,583 people who have contracted the deadly bug in the country, around half of them have recovered, either because their symptoms have been mild or because of the care they have received in hospitals.

There are now about 11,000 actives infections, he said.

“Tragically, some 429 people have died. To their families, friends, and colleagues, we offer our deepest sympathies. Your loss is our loss,” the president said.

Mr. Ramaphosa argued that the number of infected people could have been much higher “had we not acted when we did to impose drastic containment measures.”

“We are consequently in a much better position than many other countries where at this stage in the progression of the disease.

“As a result of the drastic containment measures we have taken, we have been able to strengthen our health response.

“As of today, we have conducted over 580,000 coronavirus tests and more than 12 million screenings.

“There are nearly 60,000 community health workers who have been going door-to-door across the country to identify possible cases of coronavirus,” he added.

He said in preparation for the expected increase in infections, around 20,000 hospital beds have been, and are being, repurposed for COVID-19 cases, and 27 field hospitals are being built around the country. A number of these hospitals are ready to receive coronavirus patients, he added.

“At the same time, we have experienced several challenges, including a shortage of diagnostic medical supplies as a result of the great demand for these supplies across the world.”

You can read his full remarks here.

Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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